What to Buy: Silicone or Rubber Wiper Refill?
The most common mistake that a buyer commits is purchasing auto parts without knowing the details and specs of the component that he is buying. The supposedly easy and inexpensive repair turns to a DIYer's nightmare of costly fix mishap. Even the task of buying simple parts like the wiper refill, requires your utmost attention and clear judgment. You want to make sure that the one you're going to buy is worth all your penny.
In choosing wiper refills, look into the materials they are made of to know if they will last or not. The question now is whether to buy silicone or rubber refills. This comparison can help you make a decision.
Rubber wiper refills tend to produce more screeching sound when rubbing against the glass windshield. Silicone blades resist friction better through the lubricants present in them. They glide smoothly on the windshield without that squeaky sound.
You will notice that in almost all auto parts stores and online shops, silicone refills are more expensive. Price range starts from $25. On the other hand, rubber refills are available for as low as $15. The raw materials used to make silicone blades are more difficult to obtain and that's one of the reasons why they cost higher.
Rubber is made of organic materials that decay or degrade through time. It is easily affected by weather factors like heat and humidity. Wipers need to be strong against all these, especially sunlight. During the day and on summer season, cars lay under the scorching heat of the sun. Long exposure to UV rays can cause the rubber to become brittle. Having that said, silicone wiper refills performs better than rubber types. Silicone's chemical makeup is proven to be highly resistant to oxygen, ozone, and heat. They are expected to last longer.
Consider these pros and cons of rubber and silicone wiper refills before heading to your local car parts store. Do not forget to note the right measurements of the wiper blades that should fit your car.
Refill That Windshield Wiper: A DIY Replacement Project
After a thousand ups and downs, time will come a time when your windshield wipers' rubbers finally surrender. Due to friction, the wiper rubbers become weak and wear off. When the wipers are weak, they can't clear the windshield enough during rainy or snowy days. That makes your driving a little dangerous especially if you don't have a lucid view of the road. It is highly recommended then to refill these rubbers every once in a while.
Difficulty level: Easy
Here are the tools you'll need:
- Measuring tool
- Needle-nose pliers
- Wiper refill of appropriate size
- Flat-tip screwdriver
Step 1: Remove the worn-out blade from the car. Set the wipers in service or upright position or away from the windshield. Check how the blade is mounted on the wiper arm. Usually a set of clips hold it in place. Simply pinch the clips to remove the rubber. If it's a little hard, use the needle-nose pliers or the flat tip of the screwdriver. Once the clips loosen up, slide the blade out of the wiper arm.
Step 2: Slide the new blades into the wiper arm. Avoid pressing or pushing the rubber hard so it won't tear. Use the tip of the screwdriver to keep the clips open while you're inserting the new blades. Once the new blade is settled in place, tighten the clips and make sure that they are holding the rubber firmly.
Step 3: Repeat steps one and two to change the wiper blade on the second wiper arm. The wiper arm in the driver's side is a bit longer so you have to be patient.
Step 4: After inserting the wiper refills, turn the windshield wipers on to check if the rubbers are placed properly.
It's a piece of cake! Replacing the wiper blades is one of the easiest car repair task. Enjoy and good luck!